Cigar Tips: The Puff Top 20
Written by James Payne

Friday, 19 February 2010

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tobacco faqstobacco tips and tricks

Tip # 5: If Your Cigar Tastes Funny, Do Not Just Toss It

As you smoke your cigar, you may notice that it does not taste right, maybe it tastes tarry or ashy or bitter. There can be a couple of reasons for this. Maybe it is a crappy cigar, a crappy brand, maybe you overheated it by puffing it to death. Maybe it is tar building up near the end.

Whatever the case, before you just toss it aside, try purging it. Purging a cigar involves a few simple steps. First, tap off any ash at the end of the cigar. Make sure that the cigar is still lit. If not, light it up. Next, take a breath, put the cigar in your mouth, and blow. Do not inhale…the object is to blow some air through the cigar.

Repeat this process about five times. Don’t go crazy and try to be Louis Armstrong on the stick – it isn’t a trumpet you nut. And don’t blow super gentle either. This should clear out the stogie and make it taste better. If not, just toss it and cut your losses.

Note that this method can sometimes work when you relight a cigar that has gone out. I would not try it on a cigar that’s been burnt out for more than say ten hours, but you can always try if you want – what is there to lose?


Well, that went by pretty fast. Hopefully you learned some good tips in this issue. But if not, fear not! The next installment is right around the corner, and it will present a bevy of tips that are sure to come in handy.

And as always, I welcome your feedback, both good and bad. If you have any suggestion and tips for our readers and fellow smokers, drop us a line – we would love to hear from you!


0 # RE: Cigar Tips: The Puff Top 20Red Badge 2010-02-19 12:30
Re: Cigar Tips 3 & 5 - My experience is that an uneven burn usually results in a less than pleasant (and sometimes nasty) smoke. While I agree that letting a cigar rest and even itself out is a good way to correct an uneven burn, that doesn't always work. Or, I just don't have all day to spend on a cigar that isn't burning well on one side. I have used the flash burn many times with great success, allowing for the cigar to cool down once I've fixed the problem. Another issue is that there may be a mass of tobacco that is too compacted; rather than burn nicely it just smolders and makes the cigar taste nasty. It usually becomes evident when you tap off the ash and discover a hard projection that just isn't burning cleanly, and continues to be there as you smoke the cigar. While this doesn't always work, I have many times successfully broken the mass loose, purged the cigar, then relit if to find a totally different and far more enjoyable smoke. Sometimes a cigar is just a stinker, but my experience is that a bad tasting cigar is usually a cigar that is too damp, too dry, too hot or isn't burning evenly. Not much you can do to fix too damp or too dry (with a cigar you are already smoking). Too hot is a simple fix - slow down! Correcting an uneven burn I believe is imperative for a satisfying smoke. And never, ever try to smoke a cigar on a windy day - you're always going to be disappointed with the results. I'm just sayin' . . . .

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0 # kickerDannyboy 2010-02-25 11:57
For #5, it works better if you hold your butane lighter to the foot of the cigar and then blow thru the cigar causing the flame to blow outward, not sure why, but it works pretty well

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0 # bandsPaul Harwood 2010-03-10 08:41
Far too many non-Cuban cigars have huge ornate bands which occupy too much real estate on the cigar. Some seem to actually have the function of keeping the wrapper intact, and when you try to remove these, you tear the wrapper. Would like to see more Cuban-style labels like Tatuaje. The smoker should also be able to slide them off the cigar without wrapper damage.

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+1 # #2bmp 2010-05-25 01:19
For #2, I've heard that rotating the section of the cigar that isn't burning as fast to the bottom works because the smoke, which obviously rises, isn't there to obstruct or reduce the burning.

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